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Arlington Teen Recovering From Rare West Nile Strain

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(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Joel Thomas
Joel is an Emmy Award winning journalist with more than 15 year...
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ARLINGTON (CBS 11 NEWS) – Jordan Conner not only has West Nile, but also a rare strain that caused her brain to swell. Her mother thinks the infected mosquito came from a creek behind their house.

Jordan also needs her mother’s help to walk from one end of their condo to the other. The Arlington teen has West Nile Meningoencephalitis.

The rare strand of the virus affects her brain and, at any moment, she could lose consciousness or control of her limbs. It started with a series of unusual symptoms like losing feeling in her little finger.

“Then she would mention something with her toes and her legs and her neck a lot,” said Jordan’s mom, Ebonie Conner

The symptoms persisted and grew worse in a matter of days.

”Jordan went from lethargic when I woke her up to go the doctor to narcoleptic.  Maybe even going in and out of consciousness,” Ebonie Conner said.

“When I was here, I just felt sick,” Jordan Conner said, “and I was like, ‘take me to the hospital.’

It took days and three painful spinal taps for doctors to diagnose the problem. Her mother is thankful she could recognize the signs something serious was wrong.

“Truly if a parent is not connected with their child, your child could die on your sofa and you not know it because it just seemed like Jordan was taking a nap and not waking up.”

So, after all that, we asked Ebonie if she wanted the area behind her home sprayed by planes. She paused for a moment and shook her head no.

“What we have is rare. The odds did not work in our favor. I cannot — when you talk about people who have asthma.  I have cousins that have severe asthma who could be in ICU if they sprayed.  So, because of that, do you not have the technology to find other ways?” She said.

And while others debate spraying, Jordan continues to rehab and wonders what she’ll tell her friends about her summer when she’s finally able to go back to school.

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